The F Words (Paperback)
We will fight back
Against those who would keep us down
We will fight back
For bread and butter that we lack
Sophomore Cole Renner knows teamwork inside and out from running cross-country at his multi-ethnic Chicago public school. He knows about braving the elements and not getting passed in the chute. What Cole doesn't know is how much he'll need all of his mental and physical skills when the doors of Cook County Jail slam shut on his father, a community activist; when his English teacher catches Cole tagging the school with the F word and sentences him to write two poems a week, each on a word that starts with F; when his best friend Felipe Ramirez runs for class president against the girl who dumped him; when the school bully prowls the halls looking for Cole and the principal seems more interested in punishing Cole than the bully. As much as Cole wants to win meets, what he wants even more is justice— for his father, for himself, for Felipe, and for his fellow students. Cole learns that actions matter, but so do words. He takes his write words (Spanish and English) and turns them into the right words to fight for justice.
About the Author
Barbara Gregorich is the author of numerous baseball books, including the novel She’s on First and the nonfiction Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball. She has written middle-grades books such as Jack and Larry and Cookie the Cockatoo: Everything Changes. The F Words honors the important role that young people play in movements for social change.
“I have wondered for a long time where the YA stories with young-person-as-activist have been hiding, or waiting to be written. Wait no more. I love the way this book captures the advice out there to think globally by acting locally. Cole is a model character for our time, and for readers of all ages.” —Chris Tebbetts, co-author of the #1 NYTimes bestselling MIDDLE SCHOOL series with James Patterson
“In The F Words, Gregorich’s beautifully crafted, diverse characters use the power of words to fight racism and injustice. They tackle today’s issues in a take-your-breath-away page turner that teens will want to read in one sitting. I hope this finds its way into every high school classroom.” —Roxanne F. Owens, PhD, Chair, Teacher Education DePaul University College of Education; Editor, Illinois Reading Council Journal
“Freakin’ Fantastic! A beautiful and powerful book.” —Jonathan Eig, Author of Ali: A Life, PEN/ESPN Award, Named Best Book of the Year by Sports Illustrated; NAACP Image Award Finalist; Author of Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, Casey Award Winner
"It is completely refreshing to read a book about a good kid making restitution for doing a bad thing while figuring out constructive ways to deal with injustice… The F Words is an enlightening book for middle and high school…I recommend it." —Windy City Reviews
"The author admirably showcases the power young people hold when they come together and speak out against a biased system. A timely novel about empowered teens." —Kirkus Reviews
"The F Words powerfully and cleverly highlights how injustice, both personal and political, becomes a catalyst for high-schooler Cole Renner to change his own life —and that of his fellow students." —Robert Burleigh, Winner of the Prairie State Award presented by the Illinois Reading Council
"Barbara Gregorich has given us a politically admirable story about young people fighting injustice. It is not only inspirational; it is also an entertaining read. Lively, clever, believable, and witty–The F Words is a genuine page-turner." —Bruce Levine, Author of The Fall of the House of Dixie